24.10.10

令中国婆婆大开眼界的洋媳妇教育法

这篇文章转自菲比人生,觉得很有趣,也觉得值得学习,就在这里与大家共勉之。


儿子去美國留學,畢業後定居美國。還给我找了個洋媳婦叫蘇珊。如今,小孫子托比已经3歲了。 今年夏天,儿子為我申請了探親簽證。在美國待了三個月,洋媳婦蘇珊教育孩子的方法,令我這個中国婆婆大開眼界。

不吃饭就餓著

每天早上,托比醒来後,蘇珊把早餐往餐桌上一放,就自顧自地忙去了。托比会自己爬上凳子,喝牛奶,吃麵包片。吃飽後,他回自己的房間,在衣柜里找衣服、鞋子,再自己穿上。畢竟托比只有3岁,還搞不清楚褲子的正反面,分不清鞋子的左右脚。有一次托比又把褲子穿反了,我趕緊上前想帮他换,却被蘇珊制止了。她说,如果他覺得不舒服,会自己脱下来,重新穿好;如果他没覺得有什麽不舒服,那就随他的便。那一整天,托比反穿着褲子跑来跑去,蘇珊像没看见一樣。



又一會而,托比出去和鄰居家的小朋友玩,沒多久,氣喘吁吁地跑回家,對蘇珊說:「媽媽,露西說我的褲子穿反了,真的嗎?」露西是鄰居家的小姑娘,今年5 歲。蘇姍笑著說: 「是的,你要不要換回來?」托比點點頭,自己脫下褲子,仔細看了看,重新穿上了。從那以後,托比再也沒穿反過褲子。

我不禁想起,我的外孫女五六歲時不會用筷子,上小學時不會繫鞋帶。如今在上寄宿制初中的她,每個週末都要帶回家一大堆髒衣服呢。

一天中午,托比鬧情緒,不肯吃飯。蘇珊說了他幾句,憤怒地小托比一把將盤子推到了地上,盤子裡的食物灑了一地。蘇姍看著托比,認真地說:「看來你確實不想 吃飯!記住,從現在到明天早上,你什麼都不能吃。」托比點點頭,堅定地回答:「Yes!」我在心裡暗笑,這母子倆,還都挺倔 !

下午,蘇珊和我商量,晚上由我做中國菜。我心領神會,托 比告別愛吃中國菜,一定是蘇珊覺得托比中午沒好好吃飯,想讓他晚上多吃點兒。

那天晚上我施展廚藝,做了托比最愛吃的糖醋裡脊、油悶大蝦,還用意大利麵做了中國式的涼麵。托比最喜歡吃那種涼麵,小小的人可以吃滿滿一大盤。

開始吃晚飯了,托比歡天喜地地爬上凳子。蘇珊卻走過來,拿走了他的盤子和刀叉,說:「我們已經約好了,今天你不能吃飯,你自己也答應了的。」托比看著面容嚴肅的媽媽,「哇」地一聲在哭起來,邊哭邊說:「媽媽,我餓,我要吃飯。」「不行,說過的話要算數。」蘇珊毫不心軟。

我心疼了,想替托比求情,說點好話,卻見兒子對我使眼色。想起我剛到美國時,兒子就跟我說,在美國,父母教育孩子時,別人千萬不要插手,即使是長輩也不例外。無奈,我! 只好保持沉默。

那頓飯,從始至終,可憐的小托比一直坐在玩具車裡,眼巴! 巴地看著我們三個大人狼吞虎嚥。我這才明白蘇珊讓我做中餐的真正用意。我相信,下一次,托比想發脾氣扔飯碗時,一定會想起自己餓著肚子看爸爸媽媽和奶奶享 用美食的經歷。餓著肚子的滋味不好受,況且還是面對自己最喜愛的食物。



臨睡前,我和蘇珊一起去向托比道晚安。托比小心翼翼地問: 「媽媽,我很餓,現在我能吃中國面嗎?」蘇珊微笑著搖搖頭,堅決地說:「不!」托比嘆了口氣,又問:「那等我睡完覺睜開眼睛時,可以吃嗎?」「當然可以。」蘇珊溫柔地回答。托比甜甜地笑了。

大部分情況下,托比吃飯都很積極,他不想因為「罷吃」而錯過食物,再受餓肚子的苦。每當看到托比埋頭大口大口地! 吃飯,嘴上臉上粘的都是食物時,我就想起外孫女。她像托比這麼大時,為了哄她吃飯,幾個大人端著飯碗跟在她屁股後面跑,她還不買賬,還要談條件:吃完這碗 買一個玩具,再吃一碗買一個玩具……

以其人之道,還治其人這身 有一天,我們帶托比去公園玩。很快,托比就和兩個女孩兒玩起了廚房遊戲。塑料小鍋、小鏟子、小盤子、小碗擺了一地。忽然,淘氣的托比拿起小鍋,使勁在一個 女孩兒頭上敲了一下,女孩兒愣了一下,放聲大哭。另一個女孩兒年紀更小一些,見些情形,也被嚇得大哭起來。大概托比沒想到會有這麼嚴重的後果,站在一旁, 愣住了。

蘇珊走上前,開清了事情的來龍去脈後,她一聲不吭,拿起小鍋,使勁敲到托比的頭上,托比沒防備,一下子跌坐在草地上,哇哇大哭起來。蘇珊問托比:「疼嗎?下次還這樣嗎?」 托比一邊哭,一邊拚命搖頭。? 說他以後再也不會這麼做了。

托比的舅舅送了他一輛淺藍色的小自行車,托比非常喜歡, 當成寶貝,不許別人碰。鄰居小姑娘露西是托比的好朋友,央求托比好幾次,要騎他的小車,托比都沒答應。

一次,幾個孩子一起玩時,露西趁托比不注意,偷偷騎上小車,揚長而去。托比發現後,氣憤地跑來向蘇珊告狀。蘇珊正和幾個孩子的母親一起聊天喝咖啡,便微笑著說:「你們的事情自己解決,媽媽可管不了。」托比無奈地走了。

過了一小會兒,露西騎著小車回來了。托比看到露西,一把將她推倒在地,搶過了小車。露西坐在地上大哭起來。蘇珊抱起露西,安撫了她一會兒。很快,露西就和別的小朋友興高采烈地玩了起來。

托比自己騎了會車,覺得有些無聊,看到那幾個孩子玩得那麼高興,他想加入,又覺得有些不好意思。他蹭到蘇珊身邊,嘟囔道:「媽媽,我想跟露西他們一起 玩。」蘇珊不動聲色地說:「那你自己去找他們啦!」「媽媽,你陪我一起去。 」 托比懇求道。 「那可不行,剛才是你把露西弄哭的,現在你又想和大家玩,就得自己去解決問題。」

托比騎著小車慢慢靠近露西,快到她身邊時,又掉頭回來。來回好幾次,不知道從什麼時候開始,托比和露西又笑逐顏開,鬧成了一團。



管教孩子是父母的事 蘇珊的父母住在加利福尼亞州,聽說我來了,兩人開車來探望我們。家裡來了客人,托比很興奮,跑上跑下地亂竄。他把玩沙子用的小桶裝滿了水,提著小桶在屋裡 四處轉悠。蘇珊警告了她好幾次,不要把水灑到地板上,托比置若罔聞。最後,托比還是把水桶弄倒了,水灑了一地。興奮的小托比不覺得自己做錯了事,還得意地 光著腳丫踩水玩,把褲子全弄濕了。我連忙找出拖把準備拖地。蘇珊從我手中搶過拖把交給托比,對他說:「把地拖幹,把濕衣服脫下來,自己洗乾淨。」托比不願 意,又哭又鬧的,蘇珊二話不說,直接把他拉到貯藏室,關了禁閉。聽到托比在裡面發出驚天動地的哭喊,我心疼壞了,想進去把他抱出來。托比的外婆卻攔住我, 說: 「這是蘇珊的事。」

過了一會兒,托比不哭了,他在貯藏室裡大聲喊:「媽媽,我錯了。」蘇珊站在門外,問:「那你知道該怎麼做了嗎?」 「我知道。 」蘇珊打開門,托比從貯藏室走出來,臉上還掛著兩行淚珠。他拿起有他兩個高的拖把吃力地把地上的水拖乾淨。然後,他脫下褲子,拎在手上,光著屁股走進洗手 間,稀里嘩啦地洗起衣服來。

托比的外公外婆看著表情驚異的我,意味深長地笑了。這件事讓我感觸頗深。在很多中國家庭,父母管教孩子時,常常會引起「世界大戰」,往往是外婆外公護,爺爺奶奶攔! ! 夫妻吵架,雞飛狗跳。

後來,我和托比的外公外婆聊天時,提到這件事,托比的外公說了一段話,讓我印象深刻。他說,孩子是父母的孩子,首先要尊重父母對孩子的教育方式。孩子雖然 小,卻是天生的外交家,當他看到家庭成員之間出現分歧時,他會很聰明地鑽空子。這不僅對改善他的行為毫無益處,反而會導致問題越來越嚴重,甚至帶來更多別 的問題。而且,家庭成員之間發生衝突,不和諧的家庭氛圍會帶給孩子更多的不安全感,對孩子的心理髮展產生不利影響。所以,無論是父輩與祖輩在教育孩子的問 題上發生分歧,還是夫妻兩人的教育觀念有差異,都不能在孩子麵前發生衝突。

托比的外公外婆在家裡住了一週,準備回加利福尼亞了。臨走前兩天,托比的外公鄭重地問女兒:「托比想要一輛玩具挖掘機,我可以買給他嗎?」蘇珊想了想,說:「你們這次來,已經送給他一雙旱冰鞋作為禮物了,到聖誕節時,再買玩具挖掘機當禮物送給他吧!」

我不知道托比的外公是怎麼告訴小傢伙的,後來我帶托比去超市,他指著玩具挖掘機說:「外公說,聖誕節時,給我買這個當禮物。」語氣裡滿是欣喜和期待。



雖然蘇珊對托比如此嚴格,托比卻對媽媽愛得不得了。他在外面玩時,會採集一些好看的小花或者他認為漂亮的葉子,鄭重其事地送給媽媽;別人送給他禮物,他會叫媽媽和他一起拆開;有什麼好吃的,也總要留一半給媽媽。

想到很多中國孩子對父母的漠視與冷淡,我不得不佩服我的洋媳婦。在我看來,在教育孩子的問題上,美國媽媽有很多值得中國媽媽學習的地方。

21.10.10

Kuih Bakar

Kuih Bakar is a traditional Malay kuih.  Kuih means cake and bakar means baked. Hence, together it means baked cake.  Many of the Malay kuihs are steamed kuihs but this kuih bakar uses baking method.
It is a kaya-like kuih full of pandan flavour.  Here's my version.  Mine is a softer version compared to those sold outside.  It is not too sweet, just nice for my DH liking.  Have a slice. :-)


17.10.10

Apam Balik面煎糕 & Chicken Wine Soup with shredded ginger & black fungus姜丝黑木耳鸡酒

Apam Balik or 面煎糕(min jiang kuih) in Chinese, is a Malaysian version of a crispy (at the side) and fluffy (on the inside) pancake/crepe filled with sugar, peanuts, and sweet corn.
It is an all time favourite dessert among Malaysians and are easily available in local Pasar Malam ("pasar" means market, "malam" means night time, thus these 2 words together means Night Market). It is simple to make and taste great!
I made this pancake 2 days ago. It didn't really turn out as I have expected it but still edible and tasted quite good though.  For this version, I didn't use yeast or alkaline water.
Batter Ingredient:
150g   flour
2tbsp  custard powder
2tsp    baking powder
1/4tsp baking soda
1/4tsp salt
2tbsp  sugar
1 large egg, beaten
250ml milk or water
2tbsp melted butter or oil

Filling:
3/4cup roasted peanuts
2tbsp sugar
1/2 cup cream corn

Method:
1. Mix all dry ingredients together, then add beaten egg, milk and oil. Mix into a smooth batter. Let it stand for 30 mins.
2. Heat a non-stick pan with a little oil till hot. Pour some batter into the pan to about 3mm thick evenly. Let the mixture bubble without touching it. When the pancake is almost dry on top and crispy brown on the bottom, sprinkle on some peanut mixture and about 2-3tsp of cream corn. Fold over.
3. Serve it warm with a cup of coffee. 

 ************************************************************************************

For tonight's dinner, I just had 姜丝黑木耳鸡酒, that is chicken pieces cooked with shredded ginger and black fungus.  I also added some peanuts for more crunchiness.  I replaced Rice Wine with Martel VSOP.  It is said that this dish is for women under confinement. It is considered a "hot" dish, which means it is heaty because of the amount of ginger used.  That is why it is a post-natal dish.  Once in a blue moon, my mum will cook it for me and herself.  Now that I don't stay with her, I have to replicate it and satisfy my taste buds. :-)  Thank goodness it is not a difficult dish.  Just a few simple ingredients and steps, a bowl of fragrant Chicken Wine Soup is ready to be savoured.

Ingredients:
300g chicken pieces
1 big piece of ginger, scrubbed and shred with skin on
1 big piece of black fungus, shredded
350-400ml water
4-5 tbsp of sesame oil
1 tsp chicken powder
1 tsp of sugar
pinch of salt
1-2 tbsp of VSOP Martel or wine of your choice (if you want a stronger taste, can add up to 3 tbsp)

Method:
1. Heat up a clean wok till very hot, add shredded ginger and fry for 5 mins or till ginger get a bit charred at the tips. Scoop up ginger for use later.
2. Add sesame oil to the wok, add chicken, peanuts, fry for a while. Then add water and shredded ginger and black fungus. Cover to let the ingredients bring to boil.
3. Add seasonings. Cook for a another 3 mins or so.
4. Lastly, before serving, add wine and give a good stir. Scoop in a bowl and serve hot with a bowl of white fragrant rice.

13.10.10

你喜欢“菜燕”吗?

我很喜欢!尤其是有椰浆那一种,嗯,想起来就猛吞口水(对不起,太失礼了:-P)。
忍不住了,还是动手做吧,以便解馋,要不然,我会一直想着它,一直惦着它。

这就是我的“三色椰浆菜燕”,还可以吧?我的食谱是从这里来的。颜色是我自己“创造”出来的,原食谱只用了一种颜色,我觉得太单调了,所以就来个“三色椰浆菜燕”!(这证明我是个不甘寂寞的人,哈哈!)





8.10.10

Rojak! Rojak!

I love to eat rojak, do you? 

Rojak is an Asian salad, or should I say is a salad popular among Malaysians & Singaporeans?  The ingredients include cucumber, pineapple, green mango, turnip, bean sprouts mixed with a special made Rojak sauce. This sauce is made of shrimp paste, sugar, vinegar or lime juice.  Those Rojak sold in Singapore also add in baked You-Tiao or Chinese crullers. It adds a special flavour to the salad.  To prepare, cut all vegetables & fruits into chunks then mix with the Rojak sauce, and just before serving sprinkle some crushed peanuts on top.
(photo by courtesy of keropok.com)

My version of the Rojak include cucumber, carrot, starfruit, rojak sauce season with lemon juice and sugar and crushed peanuts. To add some spiciness to my rojak, I cut 2 chilli padi and mix with the rest of the ingredients.  Refreshing and flavoursome is all I can say about this Rojak! :-)



7.10.10

Potato Curry Puffs

I have made some curry puffs with ready-made puff pastry.  I used potatoes cooked with curry paste, egg and onion to be the filling. 






6.10.10

A Good Role Model

These past 2 days, Mrs Lee's image was always on my mind.

After reading all about her life story and her way of handling matters and the love she had for her husband MM Lee, my admiration for her grown. In my heart, I quietly and decisively made her my role model.  It's very rare that I admire a person to the extent of making her my role model. Not even my ex-church pastors, they can't and they can never will.  However, Mrs Lee is an exception.

I know that no man is a saint.  However, she had such great aplomb, humanity, modesty, compassion,   ... such great qualities of a human all embodied in her. It's no wonder that during the 2 days of the wake service at the Istana Sri Temasek, so many Singaporeans queued under the hot sun just to pay their last respect to this great woman in the history of Singapore.

We are so grateful towards her for her dedication in building the nation hand in hand with MM Lee in her resilient and tactful ways.  Mrs Lee, your legacy will continue ... ...

4.10.10

A Great Loss

Last week, we sent off Dr Balaji, Senior Minister of State and also one of the MPs of Ang Mo Kio constituency, who passed away due to colon cancer.  It was a great loss to Singapore and also to his residents in Ang Mo Kio.

Two days ago, we had another greater lost.  Mdm Kwa Geok Choo, better known as the wife of  Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, had left us to go to a better place.  Though she was a woman of low profile, but we Singaporeans know that she was the woman behind the giant statesman of Singapore, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, former Prime Minister of Singapore.  Her leaving was indeed a great lost to Singapore. 

Her contributions to Singapore aside, I just want to attribute to her as a woman.  Apart from being a successful career woman as a Lawyer with Lee & Lee, joint venture with MM Lee's younger brother, she was also a great mother to all her three children, one of whom is our present Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. 

During her working days as a busy lawyer, she would take time off from her tight schedule to have lunch with her young children.  She never neglected them.  This is something that present working mums should learn ~ take time off for your children, they need you!  She was very attentive to details and would make sure her children were well taken care of.  Her highly low profile personality also made sure that she would not steal the limelight of her husband MM Lee whenever they appeared in public.  You will notice that she would walk behind MM Lee on certain occassions.  Actions speak louder than words. A woman of substance behind a successful man.  She was the one.  No one will disagree to say that she was as wise as our MM Lee. Even MM Lee himself said before that his wife had given him many advices on different issues and he won't be who he is today without Mrs Lee.

I read on some documentaries that she never even touched any of MM Lee's faxes which contained sensitive issues. She respected her husband's privacy.  Many modern days women, on the contrary, like to "poke" their noses into their husbands' matters, private or official.  This causes many marital strife between husband and wife.

Mrs Lee was a model for all women in Singapore.  She had done her best as a wife and mother, at the same time pursuing her ambition as a lawyer.  She had portraited to us a picture of a strong woman surviving in tough times (esp. during the days where MM Lee went for public elections and the days when Singapore was a young nation in the 1960s), a wonderful mother who had bred three children of whom all have a successful career, and lastly a wonderful and supportive wife of MM Lee. 

MM Lee always addressed her as his partner, which is absolutely right.  This partner of his had left him and at peace now in the nether world.  I really pray that MM Lee will go through this grieving period and come out strong again, as I believe his wife Mrs Lee would want to see her husband stay strong even without her. 

May you rest in peace Mrs Lee.  You will always be remembered by all Singaporeans. 

2.10.10

Banana Fritters

Whenever I have bananas on hand, I will bake a banana cake. This time round, I want to have a change.  I made Banana Fritters.  In fact, deep-fried stuff is "forbidden" in my house.  Not that I don't eat such food but I don't cook it at home.  My DH doesn't like the idea of deep-frying at home. It will make the place oily and also it's not healthy to eat deep-fried food. Hence, you can see from my cooking list that I don't cook such stuff. However, I made an exception today because I don't want to eat banana cake!

From the info given on the internet, it seems that Banana Fritters are a snack belonging to many ethnic groups, e.g. Malaysian, Mexican, Indonesian, even South African!  But each ethnic group has their unique way of making it.  Well, no matter which ethnic group it belongs to, Banana Fritters are a tasty and easy to make.

I got my recipe from here.  It was really easy to whip up the whole thing.  Just be patient during frying time. Here are my Banana Fritters ...

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